Pastors' Memoirs

Charles Delbert (Buddy) Myers, Jr., 1919 - 1996

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  Charles Delbert Myers, Jr., was born in Norfolk, Virginia, on March 19, 1919, the firstborn child of his proud parents, Charles Delbert Myers, Sr. and Lillian E. Friend Myers. I think of Buddy Myers as being a legend in his time. Buddy loved life and he was blessed with a wonderful and most diversified life! He loved his life’s work and he spent his whole life trying to make people happy. He had two 30-year careers back-to-back and both kept him in front of an audience.

  Buddy was a born musician. He received his first set of drums at the age of 5, and began his first career as a professional musician — the drummer in a Depression-era band — at the age of 12. From that early start, he went on to become an entertainer and the band leader of the well-known "Buddy Myers Orchestras." In addition to his music world during those first 30 years, he found the time to accomplish many other feats, including becoming a real estate broker and builder, owning and operating restaurants, nightclubs, a dance studio and a Conservatory of Music.

  Buddy had one son, Delbert Leigh, through his first marriage to Irene Sanford. In 1961, he married his female vocalist, LaWana Lee, and accepted the responsibility of helping her raise her three young children. Through these wonderful children and their spouses, we now have been blessed with 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

  Buddy’s second 30-year career started in 1962, six months after marrying Lee. He gave up his worldly life to become a minister. It was a hard decision, one that he had wrestled with for 15 years, before giving in and accepting the call to preach God’s Word. He soon learned that the decision to make the change was much easier than the path into, and through, the ministry. In June 1963, Buddy was accepted as a supply pastor in the Virginia United Methodist Church. He served his first appointment in Patrick County, while going to school to complete educational and seminary requirements. He was assigned to serve two churches in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Woolwine and Creasey’s Chapel, and attend Ferrum College three days a week. He was in the first special supply pastor’s class established at Ferrum for ministers who entered the ministry late in life. He entered the ministry at the age of 44 and, eight years later, after completing his educational requirements, in June 1971, he was ordained as an elder in full connection with the United Methodist Church. That was a happy milestone in his life. During the first 10 years of his ministry, Buddy also served as pastor to Community and Central United Methodist churches in Portsmouth and as associate pastor at Washington Street United Methodist Church in Alexandria.

  Buddy took his charge as a minister very seriously and allowed God to take complete control of his life. He didn’t stop with formal training. He took on the Holy Spirit as his personal trainer, and allowed himself to be used of God as he ministered through preaching, teaching and singing the Word in the evangelistic field for the remainder of his second 30-year career. He went on "voluntary location" and continued ministering wherever he went. He literally put the Scriptures into practice.

  During this time, God took Buddy into every walk of life, into every type of ministry — from preaching and singing on street corners, into campgrounds and old-fashioned tent revivals. By invitation, he ministered in churches of all sizes, from the smallest one-room meeting houses, to the largest cathedrals, and he was called to share with all denominations. He ministered through radio, in Christian restaurants, on television programs, in coliseums, in the Sam Rayburn Congressional Building on Capitol Hill and at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

  Wherever he went, his messages never varied, whether he was preaching, teaching, counseling, or singing, he asked the question: Do you know Jesus? His messages concentrated on the healing of the body and soul — salvation for the soul to live forever, and — accepting the gift of healing that God has for you — regardless of its origin or physical location. He backed up everything with Scripture from the Holy Bible, and then yielded to the Holy Spirit, allowing himself to be used of God to deliver people from sickness, infirmities and eternal hell. His one desire was that everyone would give their hearts and lives to Jesus, and that everyone would live in love, happiness and perfect health. God not only blessed His people, but He blessed Buddy in a tremendous way. He was allowed to see the fruits of the Spirit through his ministry.

  One of Buddy’s strongest and greatest assets was his voice. Yet, it was one of the first things he lost control of during his illness. It fast became a whisper and eventually incoherent. But, that didn’t stop the Lord from using him as a vessel to minister to others. He would walk the halls of the nursing home, smiling at the precious men and women he passed, pat them on the hand or shoulder, and say "God Bless You." Even while bedfast during the last weeks he was with us in the nursing home, the nurses, the staff, the residents and their visitors, would come into his room to speak to him, just to receive a smile and a squeeze of the hand. The love of Jesus was so visible in that smile, that all how saw it, identifies with it.

  Yes, Buddy Myers is, and will continue to be a legend! His words will continue to bless people as long as his voice is heard through his preaching, teaching and singing tapes. People are still listening to his tapes and accepting the Lord Jesus as their Savior and claiming their blessings. He continues to live in the hearts of his loved ones and his family. But, most of all, he will continue to live with Jesus forever. What a wonderful legacy to leave to his loved ones.

  Buddy won the battle, claimed the victory and went home to be with our Lord on January 13, 1996. If we could see him now, we would probably see him still holding on to the hand of Jesus, winning the hearts of new friends in heaven, leading the heavenly angels’ band, and still SINGING FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

  He was God’s servant, but he was my inspiration, my mentor, my friend, my companion, my strength, my love — he was my husband.

— Mattie LaWana (Lee) Myers



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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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